Hawaii Bans Shark Fin Sales, Vietnamese Sandwiches in the Dictionary

Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.

1. Hawaii Bans Shark Fins. According to the AP, Hawaii's shark fin ban — which is similar to California's AB 376, currently up for a vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee — went into full effect on July 1. While the law actually took effect last July, the state gave restaurants one year to serve all their stocks, and from here on out, violators will be fined $5,000 to $15,000. The response is as you'd expect: Some restaurateurs are bemoaning the fake shark's fin they now have to serve, while others think the law is long overdue. In related news, the New York Times reports that the Bahamas has just banned shark fishing in its waters.

2. Next up: Bánh cuốn? The Oxford English Dictionary has added banh mi to its lexicon, sans diacritical marks, which means we've officially adopted it into the English language. The dictionary's recommended pronunciation: bahn mee, which is pretty much how I pronounce it after my attempts to pronounce it with the correct tones and vowels flopped so badly.

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